Ryan's Mighty Exosomes

An experiment uses Brownian motion to measure the size of exosomes.

Exosomes are small (~30-150 nanometers) vesicular bodies secreted by cells.  Exosomes play important roles in cellular communication through the cargo they carry from donor cell to recipient cell.  This cargo can include nucleic acids such as mRNA and miRNA, protein folding chaperones, and biologically active enzymes.  Ongoing research is focusing on using exosomes as potential biomarkers, as their composition is known to undergo changes during times of stress.

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(Above) Short movie showing the movement of exosomes purified from BCBL-1 B-cells.  Brownian motion can be used to calculate the relative diameter of each individual particle, and in turn, calculate the mean size of particles in the population.  The faster the movement, the smaller the particle.

NIEHS - Five Viruses are known human carcinogens

A panel of experts agreed with the National Toxicology Program (NTP) preliminary recommendations to list five viruses as known to be human carcinogens in the Report on Carcinogens (RoC)

2015 Duke-UNC Symposium on Viral Oncology and AIDS Malignancy

The annual symposium on Viral Oncology and AIDS Malignancy will take place at Duke University  on December 3rd. Planned speakers include SJ Gao, PhD U. of southern California, P Lamber, PhD U. of Wisconsin-Madison, Nancy Raab-Traub, PhD U. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

For more information, including location, schedule, registration and direction, see the official page of the symposium.

West Nile Virus causes 28 death in California this year

28 death have been attributed to West Nile Virus infections in 2015 in California (as of Nov. 1st). This epidemic is on par with 2014's 31 death from West Nile Virus in California.

West Nile Virus is a single-stranded RNA virus of the Flavivirus genus in the Flaviviridae, which also includes Dengue Fever and Yellow fever. No vaccine is currently available for the West Nile Virus. The Dittmer lab continues active research on the pathogenesis of the West Nile Virus.

The Virus is spread through mosquitoes bites. It is found in North-America, Africa, Oceania and West, South and Central Europe. Experts have suggested the recent outbreak in California is due to the drought, causing mosquitoes to move to higher densities of population.


Full Article here.

Visit from the director of NCI's Center for Global Health

Dr. Ted Trimble, director of the Center for Global Health at the National Cancer Institute, was hosted by the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Gillings School of Public Health.

On October 1st, Dr. Ted Trimble was hosted by the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Gillings Global Gateway at the Gillings School of Public Health. During his visit, he met faculty and students, discussed global cancer research from the perspective of the NCI, and attended a poster session on topics relating to various aspects of current global cancer research. Dr. Trimble highlighted the need for collaboration of US cancer centers with low and middle-income countries, in particular for the purpose of developing affordable approaches to cancer treatment.

Full article is available here.

UNC Lineberger: Filing the Gap

A collaboration between UNC Lineberger and George Liomba results in improvement in patients care and research opportunities.

UNC Lineberger reports on the collaboration of George Liomba, a Malawian Pathologist, and UNC Lineberger Global Oncology program. Their partnership has help build a pathology lab accelerating the turnaround time of test results. Members of UNC Lineberger have the opportunity to study diseases much more common in southern Africa than in North America, such as virus-linked Lymphomas and Kaposi's Sarcoma.

Full story here